Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Vision Of The House

Vision Of The House


Key scripture: Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision the people perish …”

I. What Makes A Church

* New Testament - Greek: Ecclesia - An Assembly

Acts 19:32 Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused; and the more part knew not why they were come together.

A. People Assembled Together (no people, no assembly)

B. For A Common Purpose (without purpose it’s without identity)

C. With Rules Of Order (without which it’s just a mob)

D. Recognized Leaders (no leader, no head/vision/voice/future)

* In A Christian Sense

Matthew 16:18

“… Upon this rock I will build My Church, ( My Assembly), and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

A. Christians Assembled Together In The Name of Jesus

B. To Accomplish a Christian Purpose

C. With Biblical Rules of Order

D. Under Legitimate Leadership of Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, Teachers, Elders and/or Deacons, called or appointed by legitimate means.

II. What Makes One Church Different From Another

4 Basic Things





A. The People In Church

1. Godly & ungodly

2. Stubborn & Teachable

3. Rebellious & Submissive

4. Supportive & Divisive

5. People who have problems and people who are problems

B. The Purpose Of Church

1. Social

2. Evangelical

3. Doctrine Preservation

4. Church Growth

5. Kingdom Expansion

* Why a person goes to church determines where they go to church and where a person goes to church reveals why they go to church.

C. The Process of Church

1. Church Structure

2. Church Doctrine

3. Church Affiliation

4. Church Practice

D. The Pastor of the Church

* His Gifting and Grace

1. Pulpit

2. Social Settings

3. Administrative Abilities

4. Leadership Qualities

5. Overall Capacity To Grow With The Church

* His Education and Background

* His Relationship With God

III. What Makes A Church Your Church

1 Corinthians 12:18 But now hath God set members every one of them in the body as it has pleased Him.

Psalms 68:6 God sets the solitary in families …

There is the element of being set in by God.

There is also the element of becoming a part of where God has placed you.

A. The People - Building Relationships With Other People

God may birth some relationships, you may build others

not your church - our church

when the people become your people

B. The Purpose - Buying Into The Vision

not what you are doing - what we are doing

when the purpose becomes your purpose

find a cause worth dying for and attach your life to it

I am fortunate to have found two

my family

the church

C. The Process - Accepting The Process As Legitimate

not how they do it - but how we do it

agreeing that the way it is organized is the way it should operate

when the process has your support

D. The Pastor - Embracing The Pastor As Your God Given Shepherd

not the preacher - my pastor

when the pastor becomes your pastor

IV. Let Me Tell You About Church On The Rock

A. The People

Not A Petty People

Take Church Seriously





B. The Purpose

The only marching orders God gave the church was to go into all the world and make disciples.

Matthew 28

18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

To take every opportunity and teach each individual to:

Make A Living

Make A Life

Make A Difference

Be a voice in the earth, advancing and enhancing the kingdom of God.”

C. The Process

The structure of our church patterned after the example set in Jerusalem and Antioch during the first century AD, confirmed by the type and shadow of the Old Testament Tabernacle in the wilderness.

* The best understanding of our church structure is the family structure as set forth by the whole counsel of God’s Word.

The Doctrine, (Visionary Theology), of our church is a visionary based doctrine with a very few absolutes on which our positions are non-negotiable.

* Salvation by grace through faith in none other than Jesus

* The Word of God inspired and inerrant

* The eternal judgment of men and angels

Our church model is the Kingdom Expansion Model. We developed it here at Church On The Rock.

D. The Pastor

* 2 Timothy 2

24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,

25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

* Luke 4

18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

* July 4, 1982

“I have blessed My people, now you go and teach them how to walk in My blessings.”

It is the vision of our church to advance and enhance the Kingdom of God, throughout our communities and around the world.

Sunday, January 26, 2003

A Pro-Active Pattern

A Pro-Active Pattern


Tell Story of 2 Kings 6 & 7

A little over 800 years before Christ was born, during the time that Elisha was a prophet in Israel the Syrians went to war with Israel. Every time they would adopt a plan and set a trap, they would be found out and ambushed themselves. This angered the King of Syria whose name was Ben-Hadad.

King Ben-Hadad suspected a spy was in his midst but was later convinced that the spy responsible for revealing his battle plans to Israel was none other than the prophet, Elisha, who received information from God and revealed it to the King of Israel. God told Elisha the plans of his enemies.

The King of Syria decided to capture Elisha, however, God revealed this to the prophet who ended up capturing the Syrian army by temporarily blinding them and leading them into Samaria, then the capital city of Israel. Against the King’s desire, Elisha nonetheless instructed the King of Israel to feed them, give them water and then let them go. Elisha did good to his enemies.

Sometime after this Ben-Hadad, the King of Syria, in what would be his last attempt to destroy his rival, King Jehoram of Israel, gathered his whole army and laid siege to Samaria. Desperate conditions followed and famine and starvation became the norm for the city. So scarce was food and common everyday commodities that things like dove droppings and the head of a donkey intended to be eaten were sold at a very high, almost unaffordable price. Dove droppings were used for both fuel and as a salt substitute.

One day two women came to King Jehoram of Israel seeking justice in his court. One claimed that in hunger they had agreed in turn to boil and eat their children. After one mother’s child had been eaten, then the other mother refused to give her son to be boiled. The king became enraged and blaming Elisha for the events leading up to and including the famine, King Jehoram vowed to take the head of Elisha before the day was over.

When the king found Elisha, whom God had already forewarned, he ask Elisha “why should the city wait for God’s help any longer.” Elisha answered that by this time the very next day food would be sold at the gates of the city for pennies, all the food one could imagine. How could this be … God would have to open up windows in heaven for this miracle to be supplied. 2 Kings 7:2

About the evening time, when the sun was going down, there were four lepers at the entrance to the gate of the city. As they talked with one another it was evident that they, of all people, had no hope. If they stayed outside the city gates they would starve; if they went into the city where they were not welcome they would only starve there; if they went down to the camp of the Syrians and surrendered, there was a slim chance they might be kept alive and if so, certainly they would be given a little food to eat. If the Syrians killed them, they would only be dead. With this logic they decided to go to the camp of the Syrian Army.

They rose at twilight and went toward the camp and when they had arrived, to their surprise there was no one there. The lights are on but nobody is home. It seems that the Lord God had caused the Syrian army to hear the noise of horses, chariots and a great army rushing to ambush them. The Syrians thought that the King of Israel had hired other kings and armies to attack and defeat them. In their complete and utter fear they fled leaving the camp and everything including the horses, tents, donkeys and even weapons behind. The Syrians had escaped only with their lives.

These lepers came into the camp and went into one tent and ate and drank and carried away silver and gold and clothes and hid them. Then they went into another tent and did the same. After a while they spoke with one another and decided that they were not doing the right thing to keep this all to themselves. 2 Kings 7:9 Fearing punishment if they did not reveal this blessing they went to the King’s house and told the gate keeper their great fortune.

When the king first heard of this he suspected a trap had been laid by the Syrians. A volunteer ask to take five men and check this story out. They found the road full of garments and weapons which the Syrians had thrown off during their hasty retreat. With the news relayed to the city, people went out from Samaria to the camp and plundered the tents of the Syrians. So great was the haul that by the middle of the next day, food and goods were sold for next to nothing to all who wanted.

Now look at 2 Kings 7:3

3 ¶ And there were four leprous men at the entering in of the gate: and they said one to another, Why sit we here until we die?

“Why sit we here till we die?”

This brings to mind -

Point #137. It may be bad now but trust me, you can make it worse.

Many times it’s not that which we work hard for that we regret, but rather those things we never attempt.

A Pro-Active Pattern

A participator and not just a spectator

The church is not a refrigerator for the doctrine but an incubator for the vision

Jesus said in Matthew 8:7 “I will come and heal him.”

Jesus was Pro-Active

Jesus was not just reactive, but proactive - He was ready - prepared.

Don’t just react - anticipate

I recommend that before one gets married, they should get ready to be married.

Before our children reach their teenage years, we need be prepared to be parents with teenagers.

Before we meet Jesus, we must be prepared to meet Jesus!

Act, never react!

As I watch Jesus through the scriptures, two things become evident:

1. Jesus knew how to keep Himself in the will of His Father

2. Jesus understood how to get results from His efforts

These things came in part from possessing a Pro-Active mentality

First: Staying in the will of God

Getting yourself in the will of God is not tough:

Just Repent

Now Do the next thing God tells you to


Remaining in the will of God for your life will demand a readiness

Without preparedness, the will of God will out distance you.

The cloud of God moved in the wilderness

4 Questions I have for you this morning

Will the cloud of God move again in your lifetime?

When is the last time you were up for something different or new?

What are you doing to get yourself ready for the next season or adventure of life?

Why sit we here till we die?

In Luke 4, verses 4, 8 & 12, Jesus dealt with personal temptation.

Each time He defeated the devil

Each time He used the same tactics

Jesus was prepared to respond to temptation


Let’s look and see.

In Luke 4:4 where Jesus said “Man shall not live by bread alone” He was quoting Deuteronomy 8:3

In Luke 4:8 where Jesus said “Get behind me satan … thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and Him only shall thou serve.” He was quoting Deuteronomy 6:13 and 10:20

In Luke 4:12 where Jesus said “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God” Jesus was quoting Deuteronomy 6:16

Throughout His earthly ministry Jesus quoted from the Psalms, the prophets and from the writings of Moses.

He kept the word of God in readiness.

Jesus stayed in the word of His Father to insure He stayed in the will of His Father.

Next: Getting Results

Point #113 It would be a tragedy to spend a lifetime climbing the ladder only to reach the top and realize it was leaning against the wrong building.

In John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

Jesus kept Himself in the will of God because He kept the Word of God in readiness.

Not only did He store up the Word, but He also handed out the Word.

He didn’t just memorize it, He lived it!

Jesus got results because He stuck with the word which gets results.

When all else fails - read/follow the instructions.

The Pattern Example

Jesus’ Example

Learn the Word

Live to the Word

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Counting The Cost

Counting The Cost


Before we get started tonight:

Point #194. No one of us can do everything, but each one of us can do something and every one of us can do one thing.

The One Thing -- Treat others the way we would like to be treated

In the every day ordinary issues of life and in the extra-ordinary monumental decisions of life.

It has been said that every person gets their 15 minutes of fame. It may well be that in those few minutes of lime light, people get A Chance To Make A Difference, to make some decisions, monumental decisions, decisions which affect the broad stream of life that surrounds them … A Chance To Do Something For Others

Perhaps maturity and the big picture is being able to put ourselves not just in another person’s shoes, (Put Yourself In Every Person’s Shoes), but in every other person’s shoes, before making those monumental decisions in life.

Romans 13:10 Love works no ill to his neighbor.

Some issues leave no opportunity to satisfy every party, however, this does not alleviate us of the responsibility to safeguard the trust we, as Christians, hold toward our God first and then to our fellow man and not just to our own interest.

Philippians 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

Part of being Christ-like is denying ourselves and taking up our cross to be a follower of Him. Matthew 16:24

Would you turn to Luke 10

25 ¶ And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?

27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?

30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,

34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?

37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

What does this mean to you?

How do you make best decisions when your moment comes?

Before you answer, I ask you to do this:

* Re-read this passage

* Mentally survey every other person or party involved

* Attempt to place yourself in their shoes for a moment

> don’t be afraid

> truth will not ill serve you

> seeing life from another perspective may not change your mind, but it may give you a greater understanding and compassion which will serve you if you disagree or decide against them. This will keep you from appearing petty, ill willed, unreasonable or reactionary. It will provide you with substance.

* Pray about it

* Sleep on it

* Don’t allow others to incite or inflame you

* Make the best decision you can

* Pray for the ill affected

* Answer to God

Counting The Cost

Point #191 The test of life is what we do with what God has given us.

Key Scripture: Luke 14

28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?

29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,

30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.

So often I hear people remark that, if they could, they would be glad to get rid of something they have, or everything they have, if they could only find someone to pay it off.

I. Hard Sayings

A. John 6

59 These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.

60 ¶ Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?

66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?

68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

B. A hard saying is a word from God which you are not currently living

1. Forgive

2. Submit

3. Honor

4. Tithe

5. Witness

6. Owe no man anything but love Romans 13:8

II. 5 Points To Ponder

#1. God wants you to have money but He will not tolerate money having you.

#2. One reason you cannot buy what you want is because you bought what you wanted.

#3. The problem with a dollar is that it can only be spent one time. Saying ‘yes’ to one thing may mean saying ‘no’ to another.

#4. The quickest way to get a raise is to cut a bill.

#5. You have heard the joke, “I am so poor I can’t even pay attention.” Well, perhaps that’s why some people seem poor, Perhaps some aren’t paying attention.

III. Three Steps To Getting Out Of Debt

A. First -- Stop Digging

B. Next -- Take Inventory

C. Then -- Get A Plan

IV. Get A Plan

A. Take On A Managing Partner - Jesus!

B. Adopt A Reference Guide - The Bible!

1. Isaiah 55:10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:

2. Learn to distinguish between bread and seed (seed won’t meet the need unless and until after it is sown)

3. Genesis 26:12 Isaac sowed in the land of famine

4. Genesis 28:20 Jacob’s vow to tithe on his increase

5. Proverbs 3 Pay your bills on time - early if possible

27 ¶ Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.

28 Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.

6. Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

C. Attack The Weakest

D. Have A Plan For Extra, Unexpected Money

1. Put it into your account for at least a week

2. Stick to the plan